London Calling, Take 2
At the start of 2018, after spending another boyfriend-less New Year's Eve in New York City (only six years running, but who's counting), if you'd have told me my comically Sex And the City single-girl life would inspire me to give up dating for an entire year, only for me to meet a man three months into this resolution who I just KNEW was my future husband, whose break-up conversation starting with "I might move to London" I'd misinterpret as an invitation to explore career opportunities abroad— if you'd have told me this series of events would land me and my pup in Europe in a few months' time, I would've said 'stooooppp'. But here we are, me and my little worldly doggie, fully embarking on year two of our ex-pat life in London.
Obviously, I've skipped over some details, like the fact that guy and I had been loosely acquainted for some three-ish years or that by the time I realized the "I might move to London" conversation was a break-up, I had already unearthed opportunities in London I so desperately wanted to pursue that my decision to move was made entirely irrelevant of him. But such minutia is beside the point, the point being my totally unplanned and unexpected move to London is one of the best things to have happened. When the opportunity presented itself, I had one of two choices: act or don't. I chose to go for it.
Before I give the impression that trading my New York life for my current Spice World / Bend it Like Beckham / Love Actually fantasy was an easy-peasy glamour-jet ride away, let me say that configuring this move was one of the hardest things I've ever done, riddled with a variety of rejections from countless gatekeepers, explosive falling-outs and even a night stranded at Reykjavik airport by a now-defunct airline (I'll save that saga for another post). And annoyingly, I had to configure the whole thing again this past summer because visas have this totally convenient thing called an expiry date— go figure. But again, here I am, months into my second year in London, and even with the headache and heartache, it has all been so incredibly worth it.
After all, some of the most memorable episodes of my little budding music career have gone down here. For one, I've had the opportunity to record in some fabulously well-known British studios. When I recorded my original track Love Supreme at Dean Street Studios this past spring, I like to think I rubbed some good ju-ju off the walls from when other totally rando artists like Ed Sheeran and John Legend have been there.
And then there was that day in the absolutely stunning Angel Recording Studios (think old cathedral hall with cinematic acoustics), where Adele recorded 21 and Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour. At Angel, I sang as part of a choir featured in a popular Converse ad.
Admittedly, when all this was going down, I didn't really know what the commercial was for, which only made my discovery of it's message that more powerful. Celebrating and championing women is largely what inspires me in my day-to-day and deep down, I know this small feature is just a glimmer into the lasting potential of my artist journey.
Records a choral arrangement once:
You can read more about the amazing women featured in the ad here.
Though when the dust settles and the foreign land you've transplanted to is not so foreign anymore, but more 'home', it can be easy to fall back into old habits, like sweating the small stuff or taking things for granted. The rush of change is exhilarating but familiarity can have an equally weighty pull. So when those habits inevitably creep up, I think back to when living in London was still beyond my reach— when I was so anxious for everything to finally fall into place that I could hardly sleep at night. Recalling that less-stable phase makes it easier to be grateful for every present moment now and to feel assured that when new difficulties arise, they too shall pass, just as they have before.
And for those who might be wondering about the guy (remember him? the catalyst of all this?), he never actually moved. Though we remained friends and funnily enough, we wound up at the same New Year's party in North London 8 months out from our fateful chat. There were no midnight kisses, but a whole year has gone by and a lot has happened. Romance, or at least the idea of it, has always blurred the line between fanciful and practical for me. Sure, my hopeful heart has cost me a few major disappointments, but it's also brought me some of the greatest freedom I've known. So as we turn the corner into the new year, I'll just lean deeper into my heart's cheeky nudges. I mean, New Year's Eve is only 25 days away: more than enough time for a little year-end magic to bubble over :).
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